April 27, 2007

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Fox not worthy of award for Democracy and Peace.

The Institute of the Americas should be knowledgeable and well informed on matters of state, community, history. How did a body of serious scholars and distinguished members of the community find Vicente Fox worthy of an award “for Democracy and Peace”?

Did the scholars, directors, members, not check this candidacy, at least once?

Did you not hear/read about the sardonic way in which this former president of Mexico turned the country’s economy and politics into a personal/family game of ludicrous proportions, where his wife and family took precedence and the country was put in a stand by?

Did you not hear/read about the way a personal vendetta unfolded –indeed where democracy should have prevailed; a vendetta that moved the president to openly bombard our electoral institutions, and to concoct a way to devalue all candidates, before they ever managed to get to the polls?

And did you hear/read about Mexico, becoming the most dangerous country to journalists, even more so than Colombia, China, and North Korea?

Have you been to Tijuana, lately? Did you read/hear about Maquila death reign in Ciudad Juarez? Did you read/hear about Oaxaca? What about Matamoros and Reynosa?

How worthy of recognition is a democracy in which workers earn less than an hour’s earnings (minimum wage), and the president’s men, democratically, a salary of three times their peers in the United States?

Finally, as my page runs out of space, where in your understanding of Mexico and its political class come remesas –remittances-, that shameful source of pillage and informal labor so comfortably welled by Vicente Fox to keep his life style, his squandering, and his personal ranting?

Let me see… your reward was based on the Seguro Popular, that gimmick meant to lure Mexicans abroad to contribute to Mr. Fox’s personal budget, while relying on hospitals and medical personnel already insufficient to tend to the millions of workers duped of their medical benefits.

Did you mean “Democracy and Peace” for the dispossessed crossing our border by the minute, to increase to already outrageous half a dozen millions living in the shadows, undocumented?

During Mr. Fox’s term the country deteriorated in all areas of life. Crime increased, not only in Mexico City, where he would take the blame to someone else. My country was on fire and under the fire of Drug Lords and syndicated crime.

I would imagine your scholars touched on these as they allocated such an important award… Am I right? Is it not true that you represent yourself as a center for debate and study?

Sad, sad, sad day!

Maria Bolivar, PhD
Literature and Cultural Studies

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